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Proposed charter school in Canton moves closer to authorization
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Parent Angelo Johns says SR1 has helped her three children.
Alexis Ware

A Mississippi community is asking the state Charter School Authorizer Board to say yes to opening a charter school in their city.  MPB's Alexis Ware reports.

Parents, students and community members are hopeful a charter school could boost academic opportunity for Canton students. SR1 College Preparatory and STEM Academy is among three groups vying for permission to form charter schools. The institutions would be the first charter schools outside of Jackson. 

More than 20 community members spoke out in favor of the school in a public hearing on Thursday. Maya Sparks is a former volunteer at SR1, which already provides academic mentoring for undeserved students. She believes a charter school would help Canton students. 

"We know how much the kids are suffering now in school most of us have gone through schools were we had to suffer and we had to work so much harder to combat everything else on top of that but with the school that is giving you the tools you need to succeed just like the one SR1 is trying to put in that would do so much wonders for the students coming up." 

Krystal Cormack is chair of the Charter School Authorizer Board. She says previous experience can be good for applicants. 

"We look at every single application according to the evaluation criteria to make sure that they're prepared to open a school because a support program and a summer program is very different from a school with a board and a budget but we heard from students who were very excited and complimentary of this program so that all has a positive impact on the board." 

Though the meeting was open to the whole public, all of those present vocally supported charter schools. Detractors of charter school argue that they are unproven and stiffen money from needy public schools  The Board will continue to accept public comments through August 25th. The final decision will be made in September.